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2 People Reviewed This Product
  • By Kathleen Walker-Meikle
    Mar 11, 2009
    "Excellent source book for all harpists and those interested in 18th century music" 'Child of Pure Harmony' is without peer in current harp literature. Although the single action harp has been briefly covered in surveys of the history of the harp, 'Child of Pure Harmony' is the first text to actually explain the mechanics of playing this beautiful and long neglected instrument, which has often been treated as a mere step in the evolution of the modern double action concert harp. 'Child of Pure Harmony' would be useful for all harpists, in order to gain an idea of how to enrich your playing, and would be absolutely essential if you plan on playing any repertoire of the 18th and early 19th century (Krumpoltz, J. L. and Sophia Dussek, Mozart, etc). I would suggest the book to other musicians interested in the 18th century, especially keyboard players, as much of information regarding ornamentation and style of playing would be pertinent. 'Child of Pure Harmony', replete with... More > photographs and period illustrations, begins by explaining the evolution of the single action harp, from the French harp to the Empire harp and the diverse types of mechanism. Subjects covered include stringing, pitching, body to harp position, period hand and finger positions. Fingering is discussed in detail, and is period ornamentation. The section on trills is especially helpful for the harpist (two-handed trills are not suitable for the period!). Pedalling is discussed along with intriguing period 'special effects' on the harp such as 'sons de guitarre'. The book ends with a bibliography and a listing of websites with portraits of harpists not included in the book. I also highly recommend the 'Child of Pure Harmony. Video Illustrations’, which can be viewed on a computer media player. These clips illustrate the evolution of the single harp (views of period instruments and detail of the variety of string mechanisms) and show period ornamentation (played on period instruments). The variations in hand position and fingering which are described in the book will be particularly helpful for the harpist. An excellent sourcebook, packed with information and illustrations, which I cannot recommend enough!< Less
  • By pearshapedtone
    Nov 1, 2007
    "Small but meaty resource book" Mr. Parker's "Child of Pure Harmony" is an excellent resource book for any harpist approaching historical works. A compilation and cross-referencing of harp training & style manual texts from the 1700s (focusing on technique for the single action harps, and also to a lesser degree, hook harps); it is both informative and enjoiable to see the similarities and differences of technique as it developed along with the popularity of the instrument as repertoire specifically for harp was growing. As a harpist who is very interested in harpsichord/clavichord works played on the harp, my assumption has been that in these early days of the harp, keyboard repertoire would have been a predominant source for music to play on the harp. It was edifying to see this recognized in this context, but also how the keyboard techniques strongly influenced harp technique, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much. If you follow the history of any... More > art form, it is always amusing to see how the "must do" of one age is the "hopelessly outdated" of another age. I also purchased the accompanying CD, and I would strongly encourage anyone reading the book to do so; it enables you to get a close vision of some of the more elaborate techniques described in writing. The next best thing to having a one-on-one lesson with Mr. Parker. Finally - an example: I have been working on an etude by Meyer. It is generally light in texture and in the center it has a double octave downward run in the left hand; which can overpower what is being played in the upper octaves. Even on my modern day harp, by using the "left hand raised" technique described in the book, these lower notes immediately fall into balance with the rest of the piece. That is an easy example of how this truly is a useful resource for playing music from that period. Excellent stuff that I will return to - interesting things to try to add more color and textures to my repertoire.< Less
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Product Details

January 13, 2010
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.42 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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